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Rooftop Tent on our Jimny!

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02 Jan 2020 15:12 #216934 by Reason2doubt
Hey all,

In the past month I got a little rooftop tent for the car. It's been my ambition to get one since I've sen a few Jimny's recently with them (new Gen 4's) as well as this awesome looking Gen 3 which had its own build thread, on this forum post:

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www.bigjimny.com/index.php/forum/8-my-ji...imny-project?start=0

We (me and the girlfriend) had the opportunity to get out for new years eve/day to give it a go! We got into a local forest and drove down one of the more drivable firetracks and turned off into a small clearing in the middle of the trees. Here's a few pictures of the outing! Will post up some more when I get more opportunities but this might be of interest to those looking to get a rooftop tent and pop it on a Gen 3 Jimny!

Arriving in the wood:
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Tent set up:
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Hot water on the boil:
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Tent set up (flat ground) with awning:
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Tent packed up on the car:
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I'll update this thread when I get some better photos as the above are not the 'best' - not much time and not much light!
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02 Jan 2020 19:22 #216947 by Soeley

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03 Jan 2020 04:50 #216950 by Lambert
Replied by Lambert on topic Rooftop Tent on our Jimny!
Genuine question, how much real difference do you actually notice in the driving dynamics of the car with the tent on as opposed to without it?

Dreadnaught (black 2011)

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03 Jan 2020 19:39 #216971 by Reason2doubt
It's very susceptible to a side or front wind at anything over 40mpg which can make progress a little more tiring than normal. Despite having all the weight up top so high, on a 2" lift, the problem of the car leaning around corners isn't as bad as I thought it might be. The car doesn't really lean much more than when I had just the empty rack on.

I was concerned about how the suspension might react to the extra weight as the black raptor shocks seem to be quite soft. There is some sag, but I plan to rectify that with some little 15mm spacer blocks on the back springs.

I'm definitely sure a GEN4 will be a far better motor to put one of these tents on! :P
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04 Jan 2020 06:12 #216978 by Lambert
Replied by Lambert on topic Rooftop Tent on our Jimny!
Thanks. I have no serious ambition towards a roof tent but I do keep entertaining the idea of a roof mounted sheep hurdle carrying system of my own design but in order to be useful its going to end up being 60+ kgs which has to be what your tent weighs.

Dreadnaught (black 2011)

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04 Jan 2020 06:23 #216979 by Reason2doubt
Yep, and probably a bit more, about 50kg for the tent and 15-20kg for the rack getting close to 70kg
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04 Jan 2020 06:34 #216980 by Lambert
Replied by Lambert on topic Rooftop Tent on our Jimny!
That's quite a significant amount of weight in Jimny terms, good to know that it is manageable by a soft and tall suspension which mine is not so should be even less noticeable. Another question, were your insurance particularly bothered with the replacement rack system?

Dreadnaught (black 2011)

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05 Jan 2020 12:24 #217019 by Keithy
Replied by Keithy on topic Rooftop Tent on our Jimny!
Awesome way to spend new years!!

Tent looks a good fit too!
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06 Jan 2020 14:10 #217055 by Busta
Replied by Busta on topic Rooftop Tent on our Jimny!
Roof tent's do look kinda cool. What are the benefits though, compared to carrying a regular tent in the boot?
The seem to be very expensive. I have tons of camping gear to cover everything from backpacking, cycling, kayaking, motorcycle touring and car camping and I think the combined cost of it all is still significantly less than a small roof tent. How do you justify that?
Having your accommodation permanently attached to your car, yet not being able to use one whilst you're using the other, seems quite inconvenient too. We'll often pitch up late afternoon, have a snooze, then go for a drive in the evening. That's a lot of faff with a roof tent.
The fact that it makes the car a bit pants to drive at higher speeds, and the associated increase in fuel consumption makes it pretty impractical for touring. I can load my Jimny to the hilt with camping gear and it will still do 80mph/30+mpg. I'd miss that, especially when I want to get to Wales in a day.
And there's the faff or lifting it on and off and storing it somewhere, because presumably you aren't living out of your Jimny all the time?
But like I said, they do look cool. Like a 4wd child's treehouse.

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06 Jan 2020 15:05 #217057 by Reason2doubt
I can justify some of your points, but others you have me on!

1) Expensive - yes they are expensive and that was a mental hurdle for me too. I got this one at a knock off price which helped. They retain their value very well so it will still be worth a good proportion of its true cost providing its in good nic when I'm over it.

2) Camping - got all the kit myself for various outdoor activities but I justified it to myself through the ease of use in that its a zip, 4 straps and a fold-out ladder to pop it up and you are done. The option of the bottom awning is there (as in the picture) but not 100% necessary all the time but provides good usable shelter/cooking space when it's raining. I'm somewhat over crawling around in little tents and being able to stand and do things is great.

3) Attached to the car - I do see your point there, it would be nice to nip to the local pub/shop/whatever when you are all set up but I guess I'll be limited to my two legs to get me to these places when I set up camp. Hadn't really thought about that, but then again - we plan to take it to remote places where we don't plan on being near shops and the likes.

4) Fuel consumption - It will have a hit I am sure, however my Jimny doesn't really drive too well anyway due to its tires, so I'm not too bothered about that. My first long drive from Swansea to Newcastle didn't notice any significant drop in the mileage that I could cover, compared to when I drove back without the whole roof rack/tent from Swansea shortly after the BigJimny meet. So as far as I can tell that is quite negligible. As far as 80mph is concerned, I don't think 30mpg+ is feasible at that speed in a Jimny anyhow, so that's false.

5) Lifting it off - Stays with the roof rack, 8 nuts and it's off hanging on the underside of the roof rafters in the garage. Just needed to drive it under and drop it on. I'll admit its a chore to put the tent on the rack but thankfully being a larger person I can do it myself by sliding it up and over on the back roof rack bar.

6) Impractical - Yep, not ideal by any means - some big 4x4 would do it much better however this is the car I have, I enjoy and so I make the most of it.

All these things are overshadowed by the fact that I simply couldn't convince my girlfriend (Italian urban city girl) to go camping - she wasn't having any of it. Doing it this way (Glamping) won her over, and it's a whole lot cheaper and easier than trailer tent, caravan, campervan or anything else. It connects my hobbies of Jimny'ing and camping.

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06 Jan 2020 19:16 #217069 by Lambert
Replied by Lambert on topic Rooftop Tent on our Jimny!
It might be an engine age thing and a tyres thing but at motorway speeds Dreadnaught is getting into the high 30s/low 40s mpg.

Dreadnaught (black 2011)

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06 Jan 2020 19:22 #217070 by Reason2doubt
Bloody hell, I thought Jimny's were un-econimical! Here's me sitting in the mid-high 20's for mpg.

AT tyres Lambert or road tyres?

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